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Dubai public art guide

18.06.2024

As in many areas, Dubai strives to become a city where people can enjoy life through interaction with art. The initiative is supported by the government, and it is led by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. Through the Dubai Public Art strategy, they aim to enhance visual culture and stimulate innovation among artists. They want to encourage artists to create exceptional works that will help transform Dubai into an accessible and global gallery for everyone. Isn't this challenging?

But they seem to be succeeding. Let's take a short walk from the Dubai Opera and the Burj Khalifa, and we will find an impressive collection of large outdoor sculptures. These works draw on themes close to the heart of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, such as equestrian life, desert landscapes and the strength of the local community. For example, "The Wings of Mexico" by artist Jorge Marin perfectly captures the city's soaring ambition, optimism and connectivity between cultures.

The Wings of Mexico, Jorge Marin

Another must-see is the playful "Camels", a life-size sculpture of three camels by South African artist Donald Greig, which shows the strength and tenderness of these animals.

Camels, Donald Greig

The sculpture "Together" by Syrian artist Lutfi Romhein features a stylized Arab man and woman, made of sleek granite and marble, who stand for the origin of life and the door to life. "Man and Woman" stands for strength and tenderness, as the artist says. They are different, yet similar.

Together, Lutfi Romhein

In downtown Dubai, just in front of the Opera House, the magnificent sculpture "Khalvat" (2014), by artist Sahand Hesami, attracts attention with its architectural form. It is a shining white, pine cone-shaped steel work, bristling with prism-like scales. "Khalvat" is a Persian word that means "hidden" and refers to "sanctum" or "place of solitude", where the mystic can withdraw to seek the truth. The artist's task is to find the truth, as in Sufi tradition, which should be found in clear form. Layers are peeled away, revealing the ability for viewers to discover meaning, spirit, and the essence.

One of the most famous roads in Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road, has received a new lease on life with spectacular artworks by thirty local and international artists. Murals depicting children playing traditional games, Arab dhows sailing across the sea, and abstract works such as "Bicycamel" by Ruben Sanchez all fit together well. The mural on the streets of Dubai was the goal of a Barcelona-based artist during his year-long residency at Tashkeil.

Bicycamel, Ruben Sanchez

Local developer Meraas brought street art to City Walk and invited fifteen of the world's best street artists as part of its Dubai Walls initiative. Their large-scale works add an exciting extra element to the area with surprising and innovative creations. From D*Face's provocative 'apocalyptic' technique to Blek Le Rat's delightful stencils, Ron English's vivid 'wildstyle' and Australian artist Rone's evocative portraits, Duo's Icy and Sot's famous work called 'Let her be free' amazes with its depth of thought and conceptual visual presentation. Icy and SOT are two Iranian brothers originally from Tabriz, but now living in New York as refugees. Their work often reflects on human rights issues and carries a political message, as they themselves are refugees. The two facing walls become canvases for their huge stencil artwork, depicting a woman surrounded by hundreds of flying birds, which at a distance look like a black headscarf. One of the women seems more content than the other, somehow.

DFace. Nothing lasts forever

Jumeriah street art Dubai 42

Let her be free by icy and sot city walk street art Dubai United Arab Emirates

Blek Le Rat

Rone

ICY and SOT

An ode to urban creativity, La Mer is an outdoor gallery featuring striking graffiti murals and unique decorative art along the beach. Murals reflecting the essence of the city and its aspirations have appeared on the pillars of the Dubai Metro thanks to an initiative by Brand Dubai. Works by international artists – Peruvian Daniel Cortez and Miami-based Evoca1 – can be found between the DIFC and Emirates Towers, located along Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai's main artery. Dreamy and inspiring, highlights include a painting of an astronaut suspended from strings attached to a group of planets, a giant floating jellyfish, and a girl sitting on a swing looking out to sea.

Daniel Cortez and a Dominican-born, Miami-based artist who calls himself Evoca

Daniel Cortez aka Decertor for BrandDubai

Ernest Zacharevic. The malaysia’s Banksy

Karama, which borders Bur Dubai and Oud Metah, is one of Dubai's older neighborhoods. Home to small shops selling all kinds of fashion and accessories, delectable street food, and boutique hotels, it has a lot of heart. To breathe new life into its historic streets, eight artists unveiled huge murals on the sides of twelve apartment buildings and shops in the busy district back in 2016, boosting the buzz.

2nd December Street in Satwa is a landmark in its own right. Locals still refer to it lovingly as Dhiyafa Street, though it was officially renamed in 2011 to mark the UAE's 40th National Day. It's a fitting choice, as on one end, you'll find Union House – the very place where the Constitution was signed in 1971, signaling the birth of the United Arab Emirates as a nation – while the other end lays out an unparalleled slice of community life and a hot spot for serious street food. Today, it's also an open-air art gallery thanks to an initiative known as Dubai Street Museum. The initiative saw twelve artists from around the world paint sixsteen murals on several buildings along the street. Each artwork showcases the UAE’s rich history and culture. It is impossible to cover in one article everything that is happening in a constantly changing city. We have tried to highlight the most significant venues for art enthusiasts. In the following article, we will tell you about some of the most interesting exhibitions, festivals, and initiatives in Dubai.

Some of the information and pictures were taken from Dubai web portals.

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